China’s Sports and Welfare Lotteries saw sales almost entirely wiped out as a result of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak in February, bringing in just CNY1.3m (£149,825/€171,640/$186,640) for the month.
Sales across almost all provinces were suspended from 22 January until 11 March, when officials gave the green light to resume activity.
Certain provinces, such as Hubei where the pandemic began, did not resume sales until 8 April.
This resulted in CNY1.3m in instant win games sales from the Sports Lottery, being the only money raised during the month. This represented a major drop on the CNY23.4bn generated in February 2019.
It comes after January’s sales fell 43.3% year-on-year, as was affected by the Chinese New Year celebrations – during which sales are stopped – and as the government began to take measures to slow the spread of Covid-19.
This meant that for the year to date, total lottery sales amounted to CNY27.2bn, down 61.9% from January and February 2019.